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Surfing for Farmers
Arni Smit

Surfing for Farmers

Surfing for Farmers is an initiative that is helping improve mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand rural communities. Launched in Gisborne in 2018 by Stephen Thomson, people around the country have seen the success of the Gisborne model and reached out to replicate the programme into 21 regions, from the top of the North Island to the very bottom of the South. The learn-to-surf programme provides an opportunity for farmers to step away from what can be an all-consuming business, get fresh air, exercise and interact with other farmers, rural families and industry professionals. 

North Canterbury Rural Support Trust is delighted to support Surfing for Farmers as Local Legend sponsors for Gore Bay, Sumner Beach and Hickory Bay.

How it works:
1. The initiative runs for approximately 13 weeks, on a weekday evening at regional surf beaches.
2. Those taking part are provided with surfing gear (wetsuits, surfboards) and lessons free of charge.
3. Local boardrider clubs or surf schools provide gear and coaching.
4. The programme has a strong focus on providing a safe and supportive environment.
5. The surfing session is followed by a free barbeque where participants 'debrief' about the session and have a general catch-up. 

Gore Bay: Starts Thursday 2 December at 6:30pm. Contact James Northcote 027 216 6822

Sumner Beach: Starts Tuesday 7 December at 6:15pm. Contact Sandra Taylor 021 151 8685

Hickory Bay on Banks Peninsula: Starts Thursday 16 December at 6:00pm.  With only 10 spots available bookings are essential.  Contact Kristin at 



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